French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault attends the questions to the government session at the National Assembly in Paris, France, March 16, 2016. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
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France's foreign minister travels to Tunisia Thursday aiming to firm up security and economic ties as Tunis struggles with rising Islamist militancy fueled by ISIS' growth in neighboring Libya.More than 3,000 Tunisians have left to fight for ISIS and other extremist groups in Syria and Iraq. Security officials say Tunisians are taking more and more command positions in ISIS in Libya. In terms of security, Paris is providing intelligence for Tunisia's special forces and implementing a 20 million-euro package aimed at equipping them.Key to France's support is a 1 billion euro ($1.1 billion) aid package over 5 years to help Tunisia develop poor regions, stimulate job creation -- especially for the youth -- and modernize Tunisia's administration, a major hurdle to the disbursement of international aid.
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